“Solomon Kane” (2009) is a likeable swirl of gloom and fire-by-night and snowflakes following a sixteenth-century mercenary and wanderer of the same name (James Purefoy) who returns to foul England from heathen Africa to settle scores and discover if that demon was right in saying he’d damned himself to hell. More murk than pulp, wryly acted in smaller moments and paced leisurely by writer-director Michael J. Bassett (working from Robert E. Howard’s character), “Solomon Kane” excels at a warm and sleepy mood while it might have drawn a larger circle of admirers if it had dipped into post-“Conan the Barbarian” bluster and vanquished its moralizing Puritans. With Max von Sydow, Jason Flemyng, Rachel Hurd-Wood, Philip Winchester, Alice Krige and briefly, the late, glorious Pete Postlethwaite. 104m. (Ray Pride)
“Solomon Kane” opens Friday at 600 North Michigan. A trailer is below.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His multimedia history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” will be published later this year.